(02.22.11) Day 3 of the President's Day Tournament in Phoenix saw a first for Rush Soccer, a PDT Championship. With the U13 boys an U15 and U16 girls making the championship game, the Scottsdale Sports Complex was packed with Rush supporters for the final games.
After a 4-1 semifinal win, the U13 boys took their free flowing and attacking style of play to the championship game against Crossfire from the Pacific Northwest. Zach Emerson from the Oregon Rush was unstoppable all weekend and proved time and time again why he is in the National Team player pool for his age group. Zach was on point late in the first half when he took a flick pass from Sergio Rivas (NM Rush) dribbled down line to the keepers left, waited for him to make his move and slotted the ball high over his hands for a 1-0 lead. Despite several close chances, including a diving header attempt by Emerson, the Rush boys could not find another goal and had to play solid defense to secure a 1-0 win and the first ever for a Rush Select team at PDT. Video highlights from the 13's game will be available soon.
On the other side of the complex, the U16 Rush Select were taking care of business. After fighting their way through the first round by way of 1 full game win and a shootout victory due to rain, the 16's walked through their semi-final game with relative ease before winning their championship game 3-0 over Davis Legacy of Canada. The team, led by Michigan Rush Technical Director Mark Zathey, becomes the first girls team to win at PDT for Rush Select.
In the third Championship game of the day, the U15 Rush Select girls took on Santa Rosa United out of Canada. The mere fact the 15's made it to the final is testament to the strong character of the team. The night before, half of the team came down with food poisoning and had to fight their sickness in addition to battling on the field. In the end, there was just not enough as the 15's lost 2-1.
Overall, a great weekend for the Rush Select. Nine teams entered the tournament, 5 made the knockout round, 4 advanced to the semi-final round, 3 were tournament finalists and 2 were ultimately named champions. Great job to all the players, coaches, parents and special guests who helped over the course of the tournament.